18ft skiffs return to Perth
For the first time in more than 20 years, a fleet of 18ft skiffs will be racing on the Swan River, Perth, WA, due to the efforts of top 18ft Skiff skipper Grant Rollerson (SLAM) and 13-times WA 16ft Skiff champion Scott Glaskin.
Rollerson has been pushing for the revival of the 18s in Perth and his association with Australian 18 Footers League President John Winning led to a visit to Sydney by Scott Glaskin and the subsequent charter of four boats by the League.
The four boats joined one already in Perth. The planned program is for the fleet to race on Friday evenings and Sunday mornings from Mounts Bay Sailing Club.
Scott Glaskin says: "I was a bit frustrated that high performance dinghy sailing in Perth had gone backwards over the past ten years. We intend to use the fleet to get the focus back on high performance skiff sailing in WA. Mounts Bay Sailing Club is conducting twilight races on Friday evenings for the 18s racing. We hope the Perth sailing community will come along to watch us".
All crews have been specially chosen and are full of young talent. "We have hand-picked every crew for every boat so we can hit the ground running," continues Gkaskin. "Perth has a group of talented young sailors who have come through Flying Ants, 29ers and 49ers. It is very important they have boats they can aspire to on the river".
"We have also met with Eventscorp, the WA Government body which organizes major events and sponsorships. They are very keen to support the 18s revival", Glaskin added.
The skippers include: Brad Devine (twice Australian 14ft Skiff champion), Denis Jones (Australian champion in a number of classes) and Richard Payne (former NSW 16ft Skiff sailor and past Flying Ant champion).
Jasper (Fang) Warren is a 29er world champion crew who will team up with David Gilmour (son of Peter) and Scott Glaskin.
On Sunday, 3 October, Scott Glaskin, Matt Field and Glen Tincombe took their skiff for a sail at the opening day of the Mounts Bay Sailing Club.